04 February 2004

Miles Drentell

I'm sad to learn that Miles Drentell has died of cancer. He's only a fictional character, I know. But unlike Spock, he isn't coming back.

Miles was the evil ad agency boss on thirtysomething, and then emerged later from that weird TV character limbo.

I think of him every time I hear the word “covenant,” because of what Miles said to his employee Michael on the next-to-last episode of thirtysomething. In the episode, Michael had a freakout in front of their client about how unethical it was for that client to fire their celebrity spokesman for participating in an antiwar protest.

I'm curious to know, Michael, just what you think this company does? On a very basic level, you seem ignorant of what you and I do for a living. Have you been sleepwalking all this time? In a trance? I don't know how else to explain you coming in here with that “I'd like to buy the world a Dursten” concept.

The thing that most apalls me is your hypocrisy. Do you actually imagine there's some difference between this campaign and everything else that we do?

[Michael protests that there has to be]

Or what?

You know what I love about this country? Its amazingly short memory. We're a nation of amnesiacs. We forget everything. Where we came from. What we did to get here. History is last week's People magazine, Michael. So don't pretend to cry for Randy Towers. No one really cares.

Michael: All he did was express an opinion.

He expressed an unpopular opinion. No one wants to be unpopular. That's why we're here. That's the dance of advertising. We help people become popular. Through popularity comes acceptance. Acceptance leads to assimilation. Assimilation leads to bliss.

We calm and reassure. We embrace people with the message that we're all in it together. That our leaders are infallible and there is nothing, absolutely nothing, wrong. That is what we do. It's what we've always done, and under your gifted sterwardship, what we will continue to do, onward toward the millennium.

In return for our humanitarian service, we are made rich.

I'm sorry if you misunderstood the nature of this covenant, but you've done so well up 'till now. I thought you knew.

Whaddya know? Crooks and Liars has the clip!

No comments: